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2020 Online Spa Conference

The conference took place on 24 June, however, we don't want you to miss out! So we have now made the recording available for you to enjoy in your own time!

The first speaker starts at 6minutes 49 seconds minutes 



Marc Cohen







Dr Neil Michael 


Starts at 6 mins 49sec
Starts at 1 hr 7 mins
Starts at 2 hr 5 mins
Starts at 3 hr 10 mins
Starts at 4 hr 22 mins

Meet The Speakers

Keep me updated about Spa Education Academy Conference 2020!


Dr Neil Michael Walsh 

Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Hotel School The Huge, Netherlands

Topic: Experience Design for the New Spa Consumer


Dr Neil Michael Walsh is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Hotelschool The Hague in The Netherlands. Hotelschool The Hague consistently ranks in the top 5 International Hospitality & Hotel Schools.

His lecturing and subject experience lies in the field of hospitality studies, with a focus on consumer behaviour, marketing the customer (guest) experience in hotel outlets (F&B and spa) as well as 'understanding consumer lifestyle and identities'.  

He creates assessment and content for Bachelors & Masters curriculum. 

In the context of Hotels he has worked in consulting roles in 'brand-building' and 'customer experience design' - with a focus on the seamless embedding of digital and traditional brand touchpoints. 

His earlier PhD research focuses on exploring understanding tourist behaviour and their material encounters with the world. 

His current research explores difference & sameness in the performance of hospitality across culture(s).

Presently (and in his leisure time) he can be found in Northern Spain converting a former Olive farm into a 'nature retreat' in which the principles of well-being, mindfulness and digital detox are central features. 


Interactive discussion with Dr Neil Walsh facilitates insights into how spa 'experience-design' should embrace and engage the body and mind of the new consumer. 


Meta-trends such as wellness and health consciousness are driving the spa market globally. But what implications does this have for people i.e. for new types of spa consumers? Are spa consumer needs and identities changing? What different 'jobs' do these new consumer's need 'doing'? Is the traditional market still strong? Which new markets should spa foster and engage? 


Lindsay Madden-Nadeau

Global Director of Well-Being for Luxury brands Raffles, Orient Express, Fairmont, MGallery and Mövenpick.

Topic; Brand Identity Crisis


Lindsay Madden-Nadeau, has spent the past 20 years travelling the globe working for some of the biggest names in hospitality and wellness. She currently holds the role of Global Director of Wellbeing for the luxury division of Accor Hotels, including brands like Raffles, Fairmont and Orient Express. She is responsible for each individual brand’s global wellbeing strategy, including conceptualisation, brand creation, programming, project management, design, and pre-opening, as well as creating partnerships and collaborations for wellness, spa and fitness.


A self-described non-traditionalist, Lindsay makes it her mission to differentiation and bring strategy to the heart of what she does.  Her attention to detail and keen understanding of the industry means she has the power to transform and elevate brands.  She has been a judge for six consecutive years for the World Spa & Wellness Awards, a contributor to several industry publications, and a public speaker at some of the biggest events around the world, including the Global Wellness Summit, World Spa & Wellness, Professional Beauty, and Fit Summit.


A knowledge-seeker with a personal passion for wellness, Lindsay has expanded her expertise over the past few years to include yoga, meditation, mindfulness and nutrition. A creative thinker who believes in the power of authentic wellness experiences.


Lindsay will present her extensive knowledge on successful branding and strategy creation across the industry. Through her presentation, “Brand Identity Crisis” attendees will learn how to strengthen their spa’s brand identity regardless of the spa’s size and ownership, and how to define brand strategy and values to really refine your brand and stand out. Attendees will understand how individual actions affect brand identity and learn how to use brand values to grow your spa business.  We will also dive into the importance of using partnerships and collaborations to strengthen your wellness offer.


Professor Marc Cohen

GWI Board Member, Author, Research 

Topic:  Salus Per Aquam - Health Through Water


Professor Marc Cohen is a pioneer of integrative, holistic medicine and wellness research, he is a registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology, psychological medicine and PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering, previously leading the lecturing and research at RMIT University, Australia, President and Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit, he sits on the Editorial Board of five international journals. Prof Marc Cohen has published more than 90 peer–reviewed articles, authored more than 20 book chapters, including co-editing with Oxford University’s Prof Gerry Bodeker the landmark text ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ which is the first academic book documenting the global spa and wellness industry, he sits on committees, boards, has led many conferences and health retreats, has been instrumental in the development of the free online evidence based portal Prof Marc Cohen has conducted research projects on yoga, meditation, massage, herbs, natural supplements and most recently hot springs, sauna, ice bathing, water, chlorine and their hazards.  Prof Marc Cohen is more recently found combining his passion for research and bathing along with the Wim Hof Method. Prof Cohen is actively engaged with industry and performs expert consultancy services to a range of industry sectors, companies he has worked with include; Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jumeirah, Six Senses etc.


Water forms the basic infrastructure for life and is fundamental to the spa industry which promotes Salus Per Aquam. Water not only provides sanitation and hygiene, and is therefore critical for health, it is also critical for comfort, beauty and luxury. Clean flowing water is the cheapest, simplest and most effective health intervention as well as the cheapest, simplest and most effective beauty that enhances the use of any other product. This talk will provide an overview of water quality issues including water filtration and structuring technologies, the use of different types of water for drinking and bathing, the health enhancing effects of different forms of bathing and how water temperature can profoundly alter our physiology and induce deep relaxation as well as provide controlled stress that can lead to health benefits and profound personal transformation. It will also include practical ways to enhance water quality in spas and thereby increase the quality of the guest experience.   


Anne Bramham

Founder and CEO of ASTECC, Women in Wellness Winner in Education, American Spa.

Topic: From Chaos to Cosmos


Recently recognized by American Spa Magazine as the ‘2019 Educator Of The Year’ Anne’s commitment and passion lies in communicating the power, potential and therapeutic efficacy of touch and natural elements in effectively addressing a wide range of lifestyle disorders.


A native of the UK now residing in the USA, Anne Bramham’s health and wellness journey spans over 35 years, two continents and an expansive range of expertise as a practitioner, instructor, spa owner, consultant, program designer and lifetime student of all matters related to health and wellbeing. Specializing in bridging gaps - whether in practice or education, Anne’s practice of MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) led to her opening one of the first hospital based lymphedema clinics in the USA at Boca Raton, Community Hospital in 1995. The founder of ASTECC ( Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certification Council ) and a long time instructor for the Dr. Vodder School of North America, Anne recently launched her own ASTECC MLD holistic teaching forum focused specifically on the Esthetic, Spa and Wellness industries. With a concentration on the spaces ‘in between’ (i.e., the internal environment in relation to the external environment and the neural communication systems that run from derm to core ) Anne’s innovative and highly personalized ‘constitutional’ approach to spa-wellness has been adopted by numerous award winning properties including the California based Fairmont Grand Del Mar.and Rancho Valencia.


Following the disruption of everyone’s lives and the anxiety of returning to a ‘touch oriented’ business, Anne Bramham explores the opportunity and potential of the sustaining message of spa as an ‘Investment in Health’. From Chaos to Cosmos Following the disruption of everyday life and the anxiety of returning to a ‘touch oriented’ profession, Anne Bramham explores the opportunities and upside potential of spa’s sustaining message as an ‘Investment in Health’. Drawing on easy to do home spa regimens, the use of natural elements and an ongoing forum on self-care, the spa industry is ideally positioned to provide a valuable public service during these difficult times while effectively expanding their role in the health and wellness industries.


Don Genders

CEO Design for Leisure, GWI Chair, Hydrothermal Initiative

Topic: What’s Next in Hydrothermal Bathing Trends Post-COVID-19


Don Genders, CEO, founded Design for Leisure (DFL), specialists in creating award-winning hydrothermal spa and wellness environments, in London nearly three decades ago. Don’s commitment to designing and building 5-star, European-crafted wellness journeys that seamlessly merge the health benefits of ancient bathing practices with modern design, materials and technology makes DFL the most sought-after company of its kind. Well-known spa and hospitality brands, including Disney, Canyon Ranch, Caesars Palace, Four Seasons, Six Senses and more, turn to DFL for their wet spa area needs. An industry veteran, Don is praised for his hands-on leadership, commitment to excellence, and as a thought leader who is dedicated to moving the hydrothermal industry forward. 

Don chairs the Global Wellness Institute’s Hydrothermal Initiative and, under his leadership, the Initiative has developed the “Guide to Hydrothermal Spa & Wellness Development Standards,” the first publication created to provide the spa, architectural, interior design and building communities with distinct, modern guidelines for the design and build of hydrothermal areas in public spas and private residences. First published in 2014, the guide is currently in its 3rd edition.


A graduate of the University of London, Don also earned a diploma in Management Studies from Middlesex University, and, at Cranfield Business School, specialized in Project Management in the Construction Industry.


For thousands of years, sauna and sweat bathing has been used to heal and improve overall health and wellness by cultures all over the world. There are numerous large-scale medical studies that show proven health benefits of hot/cold contrast therapy, including improved cardiovascular health, improved immunity, stress reduction, etc., etc.. The pandemic has put hydrothermal bathing’s health claims into the spotlight. Don will explore the latest trends in hydrothermal and sweat bathing.

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